People who have an attitude, for whatever reason, which leads to them making investment decisions based on unrelated or irrelevant information, rarely develop long term profitable investment strategies. So, we’d posturise that creating the “investment attitude” or mindset, is one of the most important things you can do, before you start down the road of investing for your income. The following are a few pointers which can help you with this.
Never invest money you need to pay for your living expenses. Even if you don’t need this money this month, next month, but you know you’ll need it in 3 months, don’t invest it. If you put money on any investment market that you need to pay for your living expenses, at some stage you will need to make a decision about that investment, due to your living expense commitments.
For example, Lets say you need that money in 3 months to pay a mortgage repayment. Your investment may temporarily drop on the very week you need the money. In this situation, the correct decision, based on your strategy, could be to hold for another week. But because you have the mortgage, you make the decision to close the investment. This decision was made on information which was irrelevant to the investment, and ended up ruining the trade and causing a loss. This issue would never exist if you only invested money you didn’t need.
When you invest your money, it may help you to imagine that that money is completey lost as soon as you invest it. Quite often investments look like they are going bad before they turn around. It just happens as part of the typical fluctuations of any investment market. Many a good investment has been turned into a bad one by people (me included) who get scared and close a trade, instead of giving it the time to complete successfully. If you convince yourself the money is gone when you invest it, its much easier to avoid getting the jitters during these times. (And let me tell you, there is nothing worse than closing a trade early for a loss, only to watch it turn around and become successful, if only you had let it run its course.)
Failed trades are a simple fact of life with every investor. You will make trades that lose you money. Your attitude to losing trades is extremely important. You will never end up a successful long term investor if you have the wrong attitude to making losses. Here are 2 great ways to view an trade which is not successful.
1. Don’t look at trades individually, rather look at your trades as a group object. For example, you may have a strategy that works 4 out of 5 trades, but one out of 5 trades on average makes a loss. What you need to do is tally your net profit over all 5 trades, including the loss, and divide this by 5. The result is your profit per trade. If you do this, you can actually view your losing trades as a profit earner. Ie. You attribute 20% of your 5 trade net result to the unsuccessful trade, simply because it is a crucial part of a successful strategy.
This way you will be encouraged to continue trading your successful strategy, rather than get discouraged when one trade goes wrong, or second guess your trades because you are scared the next one may be the losing one. Our Stock Trading Strategy is a stratehy which works extremely well when this type of attitude is applied to it.
2. View your losses as education expenses. Most professionals in the finance industries have spent years and tens of thousands of dollars, in universities and educational facilities, learning to ply their trade. Unsuccessful trades are a professional investors “university”, but you have to make sure you analyse these trades and learn from them. Do this in a professional and unemotional manner, otherwise you may fail to make the grade, which will mean you miss out on making long term money through investing.
One of the foreign exchange professionals, whose strategy I spent some time analysing, actually suggested a successful investor should expect to lose the same amount as a University Degree in trading losses, before they are savvy enough to make long term money in the markets Thank goodness I found our Foreign Exchange Trading Strategy which will protect you from such losses if you follow the system properly, but I really appreciate his sentiment. You are learning a skill, a trade a profession. You know trading losses will occur. So isn’t this a great attitude to have toward them.
The investment markets, any of them, can bring out the best and worst of your emotions. Its ultra imprtant to get these under control so they don’t impact your investment decisions. Remember, Plan the trade, and trade the plan.